Another Michigan Lottery Millionaire Unearthed; State Warns Of Prize Scammers

Written By Danny Lawhon on June 25, 2021

We were starting to get worried here at PlayMichigan — almost an entire week had gone by without unearthing a new Michigan Lottery millionaire.

If you’ve been a regular visitor to our site the past few months, you might have found that funny. If you’re not amused, well, just take our word for it that this has been happening a lot lately.

All the same, any worries of a brief winning dry spell were put to rest Friday with a lottery announcement of a $1 million 20X Cashword top-prize cash-in for a woman from Ontonagon County.

From $5,000 to $1 million in seconds

The player, who chose to remain anonymous, bought her winning ticket at Holiday, located at 103 Greenland Road in Ontonagon. And at first, the woman thought her score was merely a (relatively) modest one.

“I knew I had several words, and I thought the ticket was worth $5,000,” said the player, according to the Michigan Lottery. “Just to be sure, I scanned the ticket with the Lottery app, and that’s when the shock hit me.

“I showed my daughter and son-in-law, and they started jumping up and down! We were all so excited!”

Michigan Lottery millionaires choosing lump-sum option

The player visited Lottery headquarters recently to claim her prize, choosing the one-time lump sum payment of about $634,000 rather than 30 annuity payments for the full amount. The past five announced scratch-off ticket millionaire winners from the Michigan Lottery have chosen the lump-sum option.

With her winnings, the Cashwords player plans to pay bills, buy a few new toys and then invest the remainder.

“Winning is a weird feeling. I’m not sure it’ll really hit me until the check is in the bank!” the player said.

Players have won more than $5 million playing 20X Cashword, which launched in earlier this month. Each $20 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $20 up to $1 million. More than $90 million in prizes remain, including two top prizes of $1 million and 82 $5,000 prizes.

Michigan Lottery warns of scam threats

In a separate announcement Friday, the Lottery warned the public to be aware of scam artists claiming to be lottery prize agents or prize winners.

The state processes all prize claims for free, and players must have a valid winning ticket to claim a prize.

Generally, there are two types of lottery prize scams, according to the lottery.

In one instance, a person gets a letter, email or phone call to inform them that they’ve won a big lottery prize but must pay a fee to collect. The scam artist convinces them to mail a cashier’s check, make an electronic funds transfer or even arranges an in-person meeting.

In another, A person is contacted by mail, email, or phone call by someone claiming to be a lottery prize winner. The scam artist tells the person they will share their prize if the person sends money to them. If the person agrees, the scam artist then uses the same methods above for prize collection.

In some cases, after getting money from the victim, the scam artist comes back asking for more for unexpected processing costs or fees or uses some other excuse to try to get more money from the victim.

To check if a lottery prize, offer or promotion is legitimate, contact the Lottery’s public relations division at 844-887-6836, option 2, or email [email protected].

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Danny Lawhon

Danny has more than a decade of reporting experience in three states, including nearly 10 years with the Des Moines Register. He's covered college and professional sports, the NCAA Tournament and the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tours. Danny is a professional musician in his spare time and plays the piano and pipe organ (seriously). He now covers the online gambling industry in Michigan.

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